TV Tech - 0475 - July 2022

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contents

July 2022 volumn 40, issue 7

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Cryptocurrency: Beyond the Hype

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Crypto is now being used to pay for a variety of TV and content creation purposes By James Careless

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LED Lights Dominate the Industry It’s the solid favorite, with a little room for improvement By Bob Kovacs

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‘Reaching the

Tech Advances Result in Next Generation Audio

How will immersive sound fare with the rise in stereo and 5.1 surround sound bars? By Dennis Baxter

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Right Person at the Right Time’

More on RF at the NAB Show A look at how 5G works within the broadcast environment and drone tower inspections By Doug Lung

Low Latency Distribution: What Does It Mean to Video Streamers?

Depending on the value of the video content, latency takes on varying degrees of importance By Frank Beacham

New advertising solutions pioritize targeting, monetization and viewer engagement By Susan Ashworth

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Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Practicality

Each differ in the kinds of cloud infrastructure they include By Karl Paulsen

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editor’s note

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in the news

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eye on tech

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people

29 equipment guide user reports master control, routing & kvm switchers • Crispin • Aveco

For more news analysis, trend reports and the latest product and tech information, visit www.tvtech.com.

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editor's note

NextGen Broadcast What’s in a name? The answer is not always obvious. Take “NextGen TV” for example. The technical term is “ATSC 3.0” but that was too wonky for marketers so several years ago, the Consumer Technology Association created the moniker “NextGen TV” along with a logo that would help identify products for the standard. But considering the variety of “non-TV” opportunities afforded by “NextGen TV,” maybe that name is too limiting now. “NextGen Broadcasting” seems to be the consensus term that we should now promote. The term has been around for awhile—several years ago when the ATSC changed the name of its annual meeting to the “NextGen Broadcast” conference and Sinclair is also promoting the name as part of its ONE Media approach to ATSC 3.0. And as our industry touts more enterprise-level uses for the standard, there’s a growing opinion that broadcasters will see datacasting—whether it’s for commercial or non-commercial uses—as the first and perhaps most lucrative scenario for monetizing NextGen TV, er NextGen Broadcasts. Nowhere was this more evident than at last month’s annual ATSC meeting in Detroit. Madeleine Noland opened the conference by announcing that South Korean auto parts manufacturer Hyundai Mobis has developed an ATSC 3.0 receiver for use in vehicles, completed testing of it in auto applications and that the company expects the first commercially available 3.0-enabled vehicles to be on the road in the United States next year. The conference also included the results of a three-part “coast-to-coast” test in Michigan to demonstrate that ATSC 3.0 is ready for data delivery to mobile receivers. There’s not enough space here to describe the technical details (read Phil Kurz’s comprehensive write up on tvtech.com, “ATSC 3.0 Set To Roll As Road To Use In Vehicles Becomes Clearer,” for more information), but the most important result of the tests was that they proved that ATSC 3.0 datacasting to moving vehicles can be achieved via “handoffs” between transmission sites. “We were able to deliver video and audio content to mobile receivers at high speed; we were able to deliver on-real-time data—in this case it was a set of photos that permitted telling whether there was a dropout during each individual, small file transmission… there were minimal dropouts,” said Merrill Weiss, who presented the test results. The potential of NextGen Broadcasts to vehicles is so enticing that the automotive industry is taking notice, according to speakers at the conference. “At the end of the day, I just want to say ATSC 3.0 provides a low-cost data delivery broadcast pipe to the cars, which are increasingly leveraging multimodal connectivity, and I think it’s a huge breath of fresh air,” said Roger Lanctot, director of global automotive practice at Strategy Analytics. “It’s a huge opportunity.” Tom Butts Content Director tom.butts@futurenet.com

ATSC Recognizes Industry Excellence

(L to R): ATSC President Madeleine Noland, ATSC President Emeritus Mark Richer, and Dr. Youngkwon Kim of Samsung.

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Congratulations to Dr. Youngkwon Lim, principal research engineer at Samsung Electronics, who received the ATSC’s highest technical honor, the 2022 Bernard J. Lechner Outstanding Contributor Award at the June Detroit meeting. ATSC also presented the Mark Richer Industry Leadership Medal to Sony Electronics for its leadership in deployment of ATSC 3.0.

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Vol. 40 No. 07 | July 2022 FOLLOW US

www.tvtech.com twitter.com/tvtechnology CONTENT VP/Global Editor-In-Chief Bill Gannon, william.gannon@futurenet.com Content Director Tom Butts, tom.butts@futurenet.com Content Manager Terry Scutt, terry.scutt@futurenet.com Senior Content Producer George Winslow, george.winslow@futurenet.com Contributors Gary Arlen, Susan Ashworth, James Careless, Kevin Hilton, Craig Johnston, Bob Kovacs and Mark R. Smith Production Manager Heather Tatrow Managing Design Director Nicole Cobban Senior Design Director Cliff Newman ADVERTISING SALES Vice President, Sales, B2B Tech Group Adam Goldstein, adam.goldstein@futurenet.com SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to www.tvtechnology.com and click on About Us, email futureplc@computerfulfillment.com, call 888-266-5828, or write P.O. Box 8692, Lowell, MA 01853. LICENSING/REPRINTS/PERMISSIONS TV Technology is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw licensing@futurenet.com MANAGEMENT Senior Vice President, B2B Rick Stamberger VP, B2B Tech Group, Camel King Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive FUTURE US, INC. 130 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10036

All contents © 2022 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents,subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions. Please Recycle. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill and printer hold full FSC and PEFC certification and accreditation. TV Technology (ISSN: 0887-1701) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 130 West 42nd Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002. Phone: 978-667-0352. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to TV Technology, P.O. Box 848, Lowell, MA 01853.



in the news Half of Consumers Say Four Streaming Services Are 'Too Many' NEW YORK—In another sign that consumers are feeling overwhelmed by the available streaming content, a new survey of 3,000 people by Movable Ink has found that more than half of consumers (52%) in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland feel that four or more streaming services are "too many." The survey also found that brands in general—not just streamers—need to find better ways to communicate with customers and to personalize those communications if they want to retain their loyalty in a very crowded marketplace. Over two-thirds (68%) of consumers say they are likely to be a loyal customer and purchase more of a brand's products if they're engaging and building personal relationships with them and over half (51%) of U.S. consumers reported they would be more likely to trust the brand that sent them personalized communications, which is an increase of 6% from the 2021 survey. At the same time, privacy remains an important issue with 20% of consumers saying a lack of transparency around how brands use data is a top concern. About 40% said misuse of personal information would cause them to cancel services or not purchase from the company. In specific questions about streaming, the survey highlighted several things that are effective in terms of getting consumers to use the service, which in turn is important for retaining subs. About 18% of consumers said original content was the most

compelling reason to watch or listen to content, followed by new episodes for previously watched content (17%), trending content (14%), a reminder of what’s on their watch/listen list (13%), a reminder of unfinished content (6%), and word of mount (10%). When asked about what types of communications they wanted to receive from streaming services, 35% said they wanted notifications of new episodes for previously watched content, followed by notifications of trending content (25%), notification of original content (24%), reminders of what’s on their watch/listen list (24%), and a reminder of unfinished content (21%). z George Winslow

BIA Lowers Ad Revenue Estimates CHANTILLY, Va.—BIA Advisory Services has decreased its 2022 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast estimate to $167.4 billion, a decline from its original estimate of $173.3 billion issued in December 2021. But it is still predicting hefty growth for TV over-the-air (OTA) spending, which is set to see a +30.3% pop in 2022. and TV digital, which is set to grow 18.3%. Headwinds from overseas conflicts, continuing supply chain issues and deep cuts in ad spending from large verticals like automotive prompted them to revise their overall estimates for local TV advertising downwards, BIA said. Despite those problems, BIA also highlighted some positive trends for the ad market, including an anticipated strong political ad year, the expansion of online gambling local advertising and consumer spending on leisure and recreational activities. “The year didn’t start as strong as we had anticipated, making for a difficult first two quarters as some expected advertising spend started to retract,” said Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist, BIA Advisory Services. “On the one hand, personal income continues to rise, but the cost of consumer goods, rising gas prices and inflation are having a major impact and we believe that will influence how advertisers will choose to use their ad dollars in the coming months. All of that must be weighed against what we see as positives for local advertising this year.”

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The latest forecast still gives traditional media ad revenue a slight advantage over digital at 52.5% of the ad spend ($87.9 billion), while digital media will get 47.5% of the ad spend at $79.5 billion, BIA reported. Overall, BIA is decreasing digital estimates slightly from the original 2022 forecast due to mobile facing headwinds amid new privacy measures on iPhones. Additionally, there has been slower than anticipated growth. Even as both digital channels continue to grow, it’s at a reduced pace than originally expected. z George Winslow



in the news FCC Now Allows In-Person Visits WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission is now allowing in-person, pre-scheduled visits at its facilities. As part of the new visitor policies, which went into effect June 9, visitors who adhere to the FCC’s facility security screening process and COVID-19 safety protocols will be allowed at FCC facilities if they have a scheduled meeting with FCC staff who will host and escort the guests. The FCC’s Open Meeting in July will allow in-person media and public attendance for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Under the new rules, visitors to FCC facilities will be re-

OPINION

quired to have a pre-scheduled appointment with an FCC staff member who is then responsible for escorting that visitor. In addition, all visitors must self-assess their health for possible symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 48 hours using the CDC Facility Access Tool. If the FCC facility is in an area with medium or high COVID-19 community levels visitors will be required to either certify to having been vaccinated or provide a valid recent negative COVID-19 test result. Facilities in high COVID-19 community level areas will also require masks. For more information, visit www.fcc.gov/visit. z George Winslow

Hughes Successfully Tests 5G Satellite Backhaul GERMANTOWN, Md..—Hughes Network Systems has announced successful tests of 5G satellite backhaul with the company's Jupiter System ground platform. During a series of tests at its Germantown, Md, gateway, Hughes engineers connected 5G smartphones to the internet with Jupiter System infrastructure—including a very small aperture terminal (VSAT), gateway and high throughput satellite. The tests also validated the compatibility of the Hughes technology with a 5G open radio access network (O-RAN) system, representative of any 3GPP standards-based, standalone 5G deployment. "These interoperability tests

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confirm the suitability and ease of employing the Jupiter System for 5G cellular backhaul," said Bhanu Durvasula, vice president, international division at Hughes. "We've built our ground platform to be future-proof, so customers have a roadmap to transition from LTE traffic today to 5G tomorrow, with the ease of a software update." In use on more than 75 satellites worldwide, the Jupiter System is the most widely used ground platform, setting the de facto standard for conventional and high-throughput implementations such as satellite internet, enterprise networking, community WiFi hotspots and cellular backhaul. z George Winslow twitter.com/tvtechnology

How To Drive ATSC 3.0 Success

A

tersection—to intelligent vehicles. good portion of the The loss of spectrum has left that recently concluded industry scrambling to create a new ATSC NextGen ecosystem to support transmission Broadcast Conference of this sort of vital data. dealt with ATSC 3.0 as a wireless Now is the time for the Addata, video and audio delivery techvanced Television nology for vehicles. Systems Committee, Hosted in Detroit, station groups and the event offered even individual a market overview stations to do the of where vehicle outreach necessary to connectivity stands communicate how 3.0 today, the technican play a critical role cal ins and outs of in that ecosystem. what was billed as a During a phone con“coast-to-coast” 3.0 versation following test across Michigan, Phil Kurz the conference, Lawas well as a look at son noted the ITS World Congress key elements needed to support will take place in September in Los reception in moving vehicles. Angeles and that 3.0 advocates Perhaps one of the most valuable should attend. pieces of advice to come out of the The broadcast community conference with regard to 3.0 in veshould waste no time in contacting hicles was offered by John Lawson, government and quasi-governmenexecutive director of the AWARN tal transportation authorities as Alliance. He urged broadcasters they pick up the pieces from their interested in mobile 3.0 to reach spectrum loss and make plans out to the Intelligent Transportafor a new wireless ecosystem to tion Society of America, state and support intelligent vehicles. These federal transportation agencies and authorities will be responsible for public-private partnerships, such as writing specifications that could turnpike authorities, to promote the include 3.0 as part of the new ITS wireless IP data delivery strengths wireless data delivery ecosystem. of the 3.0 standard and educate They also have the power to set the them about how it could serve standards automakers must meet their needs to transmit vital data to with their own intelligent transporintelligent vehicles. tation solutions. l Lawson, who attended a gathering of the society in 2018, said the ITS community is coming off a significant loss of spectrum—45 MHz of its 75 MHz in the 5.9 GHz band—reallocated by the FCC for Wi-Fi use. That original 75 MHz allocation was to transmit data—like whether or not a vehicle is moving through an in-



bitcoin for media

Cryptocurrency: Beyond the Hype Crypto is now being used to pay for a variety of TV and content creation purposes

By James Careless

OTTAWA—What do AT&T, Starbucks, and Tesla have in common? They all accept payments using various forms of cryptocurrency. Granted, these payment options are currently limited; for instance, you can use Dogecoin to buy Tesla clothing and car accessory purchases at shop.tesla.com, but not an electric car. Still, the fact that “crypto” (as it is commonly called) is finding growing acceptance as a legitimate form of payment is likely a sign of things to come. In the TV broadcasting/content distribution market, companies such as Sling TV, Replay, Script TV and ZEDEBEE are pushing ahead with crypto payment transactions. The reason? “Crypto payments enable smart contracts that automatically generate payments in real time whenever video is viewed,” said Replay CEO Krish Arvapally. “For TV broadcasters and content deliverers, this eliminates the time spent tracking down and managing these payments.” Creators are happier too, Arvapally adds. “Instead of chasing down or waiting on royalty checks coming from a variety of sources, months after a video is played, the open-source and transparent nature of blockchain payments means that creators can trust that they’re being paid as soon as possible.”

SLING TV: EARLY ADOPTER As of Feb. 22, Sling TV allows subscribers to pay their monthly bills using the crypto payment provider BitPay, which handles digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Ethereum. The only catch: “BitPay is available to established Sling customers and can be used to extend an existing monthly subscription,” a Sling TV spokesperson told TV Tech. “Notably, BitPay cryptocurrency payment is available any time after the first bill as a monthly subscriber, including after a free trial or promotional offer.” This proviso notwithstanding, “accepting crypto payments was a natural next step for Sling subscribers,” the spokesperson added. “Sling’s new integration with BitPay adds to DISH Network’s already robust reputation as an industry innovator. In fact, DISH TV [which owns Sling TV] has accepted crypto payments since 2014.”

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Like its name implies, Rewarded TV viewers receive rewards and pay for premium content with RPLAY, a new crypto token built on the Theta blockchain.

WATCH TV, GET REWARDED Imagine paying viewers to watch an ad-free, subscription-free OTT TV service with crypto: That’s the business based behind Rewarded TV, which is being launched by blockchain video tracking and payments platform Replay. “Our viewers will receive rewards and pay for premium content with RPLAY, a new crypto token built on Theta, the leading blockchain for entertainment organizations,” said Arvapally. “RPLAY will be available to exchange for cash, or can be earned by watching free content on Rewarded TV.

“The continued adoption of crypto payments in film and TV is a trend that is here to stay.” KRISH ARVAPALLY, REPLAY

“Users can also earn multipliers on their RPLAY earnings through ‘gamified content’— by engaging with certain promoted content or earning NFT passes in relation to specific viewing activities,” Arvapally added. “For example, sharing a specific piece of content or creating a playlist featuring certain movies or shows can yield additional rewards for driving engagement.”

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Viewers can also purchase NFTs, whose crypto payments will be used to pay content providers (along with revenues from gamified content promotions.) Worth noting: As soon as someone’s content is viewed, they get paid in RPLAY, a theta token by Replay. If the Rewarded TV concept sounds rather unconventional for commercial OTT TV, it is. Using Rewarded TV to introduce new models of monetization, Replay is launching this service as a proof-of-concept, for their own opensource Replay video tracking and payments platform. But Arvapally is confident that the time is right for Rewarded TV and Replay. “The continued adoption of crypto payments in film and TV is a trend that is here to stay,” he said. “Digital streaming and syndication are perfect use cases for crypto payments: content owners and distributors will turn to crypto for its ease of use in distributing earnings in real time.” In another deal with Theta, OTT distributor Cinedigm entered the crypto universe in 2021 by agreeing integrate the native Theta peer-topeer streaming technology, blockchain protocol and Theta Fuel (TFUEL) micropayments on its CONtv Anime branded channel page. It allows visitors to Cindegigm’s CONtv to view its large library of anime, sci-fi, horror and cult shows and films directly using Theta’s fully decentralized technology and protocol. Theta says integrating its blockchain allows entertainment and streaming platforms like



bitcoin for media Cinedigm to lower their video delivery CDN costs by 50% or more, while increasing user engagement, viewing times and monetization. Users in return can earn FUEL rewards for sharing video content utilizing their excess bandwidth and computing resources. The company adds that its blockchain approach enables fans to earn as much as $10-$15/month simply by watching their favorite content on their browser with no download required.

‘TIPPING’ CONTENT PROVIDERS Although aimed at the online gaming world to allow viewers to “tip” their favorite live gamers using Bitcoin, ZEBEDEE’s ZBD Streamer software could potentially be used by broadcasters and OTT creators to boost their own revenues. For instance, viewers could signify their support for a specific player on a live TV series through tipping, with the crypto being split between the player and content producer. “ZBD Streamer is a free OBS plugin that pairs with the user’s ZEBEDEE account, and allows live broadcasters to post a static QR code overlay onto their stream to accept tips from viewers via their smartphone,” said ZEBEDEE Marketing Director Mark Mulvey. “What’s great about this solution is that the audience can send payments as ‘microtransactions’— fractions of a penny—which until now was completely uneconomical and technically infeasible. “By transacting in tiny satoshi increments (a satoshi, or ‘sat,’ is 1/100,000,000th of one Bitcoin), broadcasters can collect affordable tips from viewers in a fun, frictionless way— without losing the ability to exchange those

sats into their local fiat currency at a later time if they choose.” Mulvey added. Could this technology be used in traditional OTA/OTT content advertising? According to Mulvey, the answer is, theoretically, yes. “The underlying Bitcoin Lightning Network technology certainly allows for this type of functionality, though no one to our knowledge has built out this specific solution just yet,” he said. “But similar innovations are occurring in the podcasting space, as something called ‘Podcasting 2.0’ [also known as the ‘Value-for-Value’ model] is allowing creators to receive sats streamed directly to them by listeners in lieu of, or in addition to, their traditional audio advertising revenue. This technology also makes the inverse possible: for advertisers to compensate listeners directly, streaming sats to their wallets based on how much of the ad was actually listened to.”

SCRIPT.TV BALANCES ALL SIDES About to be launched in its beta version, Script.TV seems to resemble Rewarded TV in that it too pays viewers in crypto for watching. However, the Script.TV model is actually quite different. Unlike Rewarded TV, Script.TV will play out its stable of free-to-watch TV channels and movies online like a conventional broadcaster. Its online TV programs will run on a schedule with no ability for viewers to jump back to the beginning, and with non-skippable ads being part of the content. This model will ensure that everyone, including content providers and advertisers, benefit from the Script.TV platform.

What is Theta? IN 2017, Sliver.TV subsidiary Theta Labs (www. thetalabs.org) announced that it was developing a decentralized video streaming network enabled by blockchain to provide less expensive video storage and playout to content providers worldwide. “The core of the network enables users worldwide with un-utilized PC bandwidth and resources to cache and relay video streams to others in the network and in turn mine Theta tokens, similar to Bitcoin and Ethereum,” the company said at the time. Today, Theta Labs runs the “Theta Network” decentralized blockchain-enabled streaming platform using the company’s Mainnet 4.0 software. Google, Samsung, Sony, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Binance, Blockchain Ventures, DHVC and gumi are global enterprise validator partners while strategic corporate investors reportedly include Samsung NEXT, Sony Innovation Fund, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), CAA, plus Silicon Valley VCs including DCM and Sierra Ventures.

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Rewarded TV viewers receive rewards and pay for premium content with RPLAY, a new crypto token built on the Theta blockchain.

“Although Script.TV gives viewers the opportunity to profit from their viewing time and personal data in return of SCRIPT blockchain tokens [SCPT] to reward them, it of course, is not our business model to purely just give out tokens,” said Script.TV Co-Founder Akeem Ojuko. As well, the company will encourage viewers to spend their SCPTs within the company through the sale of special NFTs. In reality, Script.TV is actually an attempt to resolve content delivery bottlenecks commonly encountered online by creating a distributed, decentralized online base of content storage/playout. And it will make money for itself and content providers as well, with the latter being paid using a second class of tokens known as SPAYs based on how much their content is watched. These tokens will be convertible into conventional currencies, should content providers choose to sell them. In doing all of this, Script.TV’s goal “is to fix a lot of the problems that content providers and advertisers have in working in the online market,” Ojuko said. l

To explain the company’s market position in more tangible terms, Replay and Rewarded TV are using Theta Labs’ TNT-20 (Theta Network Token-20) tokens as the basis of their RPLAY tokens on both services. Meanwhile, game show producer Fremantle is marking the 50th anniversary of CBS game show “The Price is Right” by issuing NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in collaboration with Theta Labs. The NFTs will feature popular “The Price Is Right” games such as Cliff Hangers, Plinko, and Punch-A-Bunch. In addition, the “American Idol” brand partnered with Theta Network to launch NFTs to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the reality show which wrapped up in May. Featuring the Top 14 contestants from Season 20 of American Idol, the NFTs were sold for $99 as packs of digital trading cards. “Holders of the NFTs will participate in a five-week-long competition where they can win prizes based on how far contestants go,” Benzinga.com reported in April.


lighting for tv

LED Lights Dominate the Industry It’s the solid favorite, with a little room for improvement

High-quality, highoutput panels allow for greater use of modifiers to create beautifully soft talent light.

by Bob Kovacs

WASHINGTON—LEDs have revolutionized lighting in the past 15 years, and that is especially true for television lighting. Lightweight, compact, efficient, bright and cool, LED lights have kicked all other types of television lighting to the curb. In addition to the LED light attributes already mentioned, there is one other benefit of LEDs that makes the technology seemingly ideal for television. LED’s components come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and emissivity, so they can be packaged in many different ways. Need lights on a car’s dashboard for an action shot? LEDs are the only choice that will fit the space, provide enough light, run all night from a simple battery and not bake your talent. One other benefit of LED lights is that you can get devices that use red, green and blue LEDs, creating lights that can be adjusted to produce any color—and some pretty impres-

sive lighting effects. “The ability to produce any color from a light without gels is quite attractive, and using some number of color effects lights often makes a lot of sense,” said Pete Challenger, manager of U.S. sales and support for Lupo Lighting. “Whether it makes sense to use such lights for every fixture is more open to debate.” LEDs were the overwhelming favorite of the companies contacted for this article, and the fact that LED lights can be configured in so many different ways is an important factor in their popularity.

LIGHT QUALITY One of the lingering questions about LED lighting is the quality of the light that the fixtures make. Tungsten incandescent lights made a broad spectrum of light that worked well with camera sensors. The first LED lights targeted at television production did not have this same quality of light. Today, lights used in television are rated

for their color rendering index, which is a measure of the light’s ability to reveal colors in the object illuminated by the light. The higher the number—up to 100—the better colors are represented. Some early LED lights targeted for television production were rated at 75 CRI, while current technology is 95 CRI and higher. “The first panels were rated about 70 CRI and tended to be rather green—but that didn’t stop people using them back then,” Challenger said. “Now if they don’t rate in the 90s, no one would consider them.” Challenger said that Lupo’s latest Ultrapanel series of lights have lower- and higher-efficiency versions, and the lower-efficiency line has a CRI of 98, while the higher-efficiency model has a CRI of 96. “Either of those would have been viewed as insanely good just a year or two back,” he said.

ENG LIGHTING Frezzi has long made lights popular with

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lighting for tv ENG crews, combining small size, high durability and punchy brightness that makes on-camera talent stand out on murky city streets at night. The company’s tungsten and HMI lights got the job done a couple decades ago, but it is mostly all LED now. “Our ENG customer’s primary application is live and in-the-field stand-ups, so they’re looking for the highest-output LED in a compact/lightweight form-factor,” said Kevin Crawford, vice president of engineering for Frezzi Energy Systems in Hawthorne, N.J. “Because our Frezzi SkyLight uses a single-source LED element, it provides a smooth, flat optical field with a single shadow and the intensity of an HMI in a user-friendly and small fixture.” Are LED fixtures good enough to push HMI lights from the market, however? “We also see the HMIs are being phased out rapidly for LEDs, even though they produce beautiful light,” Crawford said. “The product trend we see is for LEDs to replace tungsten and HMIs, as LEDs are becoming more efficient and continually improving in quality.” Crawford said that LED is the light technology of the foreseeable future. “LEDs are here to stay and always improving output, quality of light and efficiency,” he said. “HMIs have a much higher cost of operation/ownership, plus UV concerns, and lamp life is typically only 200 hours vs. 50,000 hours for LEDs. With new tunable LED single-source elements, we are mapping out adjustable color temperature fixtures [32005600K], while maintaining HMI-type output in a compact fixture.”

FORM-FACTOR FINESSE LED lighting fixtures are available in many more shapes and designs than was possible with tungsten and HMI fixtures. One reason why is because of the high-efficiency/lowheat nature of LEDs—you can just package them in many different ways, and use a range of diffusing techniques to get the lighting effect you want. “For LED fixtures, there are many different types of light modifiers now available, so end users can bounce and diffuse the light to change the size of the illuminated surface area, to get the desired result,” said Michael Herbert, product manager for Litepanels. “What is increasingly important is that the LED light itself has enough output to be used with a range of different modifiers.” This is partially why Lietpanels is seeing a trend toward “hard” LED light sources, Herbert added.

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efficient than tungsten, but only about on a par with HMI,” Herbert said. “I think we will continue to see smaller, more incremental improvements in LED efficiency, but with an increasing focus on improving the color quality.”

WHITE VS. COLOR

“Unlike the general lighting industry, television and film lighting has to pay attention to the color quality of the LEDs.” MICHAEL HERBERT, LITEPANELS

“These high-output fixtures can throw beams of light through windows to simulate midday sunlight, but then can be pushed through multiple layers of diffusion to create a much softer lighting effect,” he said. One benefit of LED lights is its excellent efficiency: They make a lot of light using a modest amount of power. Will this efficiency continue to improve over time? “It has been increasing for many years, but we’re starting to see it level off,” Herbert said. “Unlike the general lighting industry, television and film lighting has to pay attention to the color quality of the LEDs. There’s an inverse relationship between color quality and LED efficiency—the more you focus on a broad, full-spectrum LED, the less efficient it’s going to be at converting electricity into light.” How does the efficiency of LED lights compare with tungsten and HMI lights? “Film lighting fixtures are now typically surpassing 100 lm/W, which is much more

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As is true for many technical situations, having flexibility is a good thing—if you understand how to use it and keep the parameters of the device in mind. Beginning several years ago, there was great interest in lights that had red, green, blue and white emitters; lights that could create light of any color and even produce effects like ambulance lights or mimic the light from a fireplace. Such lights are still popular for many applications, and they can be the right thing for a range of applications. However, the key is that you need to understand what the light can do and how to get it to produce the light you need for your project. “Just a couple of years ago everyone wanted RGBW lights, but in recent years the market has been asking for high-quality white light in fixed color temperature or in bi-color without RGB,” said Toby Sali, co-owner of BB&S Lighting. “What we hear from professionals is that the option to use RGB is not needed, and most of the time creates issues because of the option to add colors to the white light.” Although LED components are generally stable, there is a little aging over time and slight variations among similar components. “The problem with most RGBW fixtures is the calibration of the mixing of the different LEDs,” Sali said. “No LED is the same, and variations from diode-to-diode affect blending the RGBW colors to get the color temperature you want.”

A MATCH FOR CAMERAS? So just how good are today’s LED lights? Ultimately, a camera has to capture the scene that the light is illuminating, so how well do today’s lights work with today’s cameras? Do tungsten lights

Lupo’s latest Ultrapanel series of lights have lower- and higherefficiency versions


lighting for tv

“The product trend we see is for LEDs to replace tungsten and HMIs, as LEDs are becoming more efficient and continually improving in quality.” KEVIN CRAWFORD, FREZZI

still have an advantage in color purity? “Matching tungsten really doesn’t matter much anymore in most cases,” Challenger said. “The issue is that all LED sources have non-continuous spectra— different manufacturers’ cameras have quite different spectral response, so it comes down to how the peaks

and valleys of the LED spectrum align with camera sensors. My personal recommendation is, despite whatever color index is popular at the time, you should test lights you are considering by viewing the results through the cameras you have, or are considering. Anything else opens you up to the risk of unpleas-

ant surprises.” Frezzi’s Crawford said that modern lights and modern cameras are a good match. “Today’s cameras can balance to all types of light sources,” he said. “The LEDs we use have a very good broadcast-quality spectrum, and our SkyLight is balanced at 5600K for maximum output to compete with a full-sun day. If tungsten color temperature is required for an indoor shoot, we have a flip-down converter filter that will balance to 3200K without significant loss of output.” It may sound trite, but in the past 15 years, LED lights have revolutionized television lighting. In addition to being all the good things mentioned above (low-weight, lowheat, high-efficency and available in a wide array of shapes and sizes), LED lights are also economical. They are no more expensive than the technologies that preceded them, and in many cases are less expensive. Good-quality lights at common-sense prices is one more tool that the industry has used to drive down the cost of film/video production. It’s a win-win situation for creators—the gear keeps getting better, while the cost goes down. It’s a great time to be creating content. l


advanced advertising

‘Reaching the Right Person at the Right Time’ New advertising solutions prioritize targeting, monetization and viewer engagement By Susan Ashworth

SAN FRANCISCO—At its outset, it was touted as a revolutionary technology, a solution that could streamline and simplify each piece of the intricate, confusing and complex advertising process and bring in more ad dollars along the way. It has matured since those early days as it mastered real-world hiccups like mismatched transfer rates, inconsistent measurement and problems with scalability. As time has progressed, however, so have the capabilities inherent in modern advanced advertising technologies. What has emerged is a set of road-tested solutions that manage to meet several lofty goals: reaching the right viewers at the right time, thriving in time-sensitive cycles like an election year, managing orders as well as customer relationships and more. .

POLITICAL AD WINDFALL “Advanced advertising has always been about reaching the right person at the right time with the right message,” said John Gee, consultant and chief business development officer at LG Ads. “As new technologies, ways to view television, personalize, discover and experience content and advertising evolve, it will be easier to deliver the right message to the right viewer efficiently, in a way that keeps them engaged and is the least disruptive to their viewing experience.” One of those “baptism by fire” moments awaits the industry later this fall. According to a report by BIA Advisory Group, the 2022 political season could potentially generate $8.4 billion in local advertising dollars, with local television receiving a large share of that spend in the leadup to the November 2022 midterms. “Political spending is anticipated to be very large this year and other bright spots are surfacing that will affect ad revenue across the country for all media channels,” said Tom Buono, BIA CEO and founder, adding that many business verticals in 2022 are expected to exceed 2019 levels after the pandemic-based drop in 2020 and 2021.

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Stations expecting to capture part of that burst of advertising dollars must consider the advertising realities that exist in the fast-paced political space, particularly in the last few months before the midterm elections on Nov. 8, 2022. How to do that? The bottom line is that broadcast and digital sales departments need to be responsive. This is a particularly true for sales staff at broadcast TV and radio stations, said political strategist Bud Jackson who, alongside another political strategist and BIA Advisory Services Managing Director Rick Ducey, was a panelist during a recent webinar on focused on how broadcast stations can earn a greater portion of political advertising dollars during the upcoming election season. “One of the downfalls of TV vs. digital is getting creative in or out in a timely manner,” Jackson said. “Being available on the weekend somehow in the last couple of weeks is huge.” He recalled a political strategist’s nightmare story of a time when an incorrect advertising spot ran over and over during a weekend — because he couldn’t get anyone in the sales de-

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partment on the phone after 5 pm on a Friday. The lesson learned: since advertising customers are going around the clock, so must you. That type of round-the-clock customer focus is a key benefit of advanced advertising systems. It is customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities in advanced advertising systems that allow a sales team to more adroitly manage active customer accounts and make changes quickly, such as during an active political season. Advanced systems track accounts, monitor active proposals, keep tabs on standing orders. Keeping tabs on sales is a key feature of the Marketron REV system, for example, including detailing status of an order, keeping tabs on the review process as well as providing key metadata on final orders. “It’s important that you understand your customers because buyers right now are going around the clock,” said Evan Tracey, senior vice president of National Media as well as a professor and political strategist, during the political webinar. “Be really mindful. Their responsibilities are huge. And problems will arise. The ones the at fix it the quickest will be remembered


fondly. The ones that are out on a Friday in November, not so much.” Advanced advertising technologies have also proven themselves when it comes to smart pricing. Some systems, like the REV, tout the ability to use advanced algorithms and historical data to automatically set spot prices based on open blocks and fill rates. Some can set rate curves as well as floor and ceiling rates down to a 30-minute time block. One of the features that advanced advertising has long touted is the ability to provide advanced targeting and a richer engagement for viewers. Depending on the system, the technology can deliver ads to a household level, offering to get the right inventory to the right audience. Systems like the LTN Target universal signaling system allow for linear channels to run national addressable ads at scale during live linear broadcasts. According to LTN Global, the type of responsiveness that can be found in a digital advertising setup can also be recreated within a broadcasting’s traditional linear set up, resulting in several improvements. The system can format and insert watermarks, handle SCTE 35 cue tone markers within an MPEG transport stream, and use key metadata for addressable ad decisioning and replacement during live, linear programming, regardless of the distribution platform. That addressable piece of the puzzle is key. Traditional TV reaches a massive audience but lacks the addressable capability of digital. And there’s much to be gained by making that transition. A recent report from Deloitte Global predicts that addressable TV advertising — allowing different ads to be shown to different households watching the same program — is expected to generate about $7.5 billion globally this year.

WHO’S WATCHING? To grab a larger share of that market, broadcasters and content creators must first answer one key question: who is actually in the room watching the TV? “I think [that is] the most important area that ad tech needs to solve,” Gee said. “Several companies are working on how to

“Political spending is anticipated to be very large this year and other bright spots are surfacing that will affect ad revenue across the country for all media channels” TOM BUONO, BIA KELSEY

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14/07/2022 17:26


advanced advertising THE CLOUD’S ROLE

LTN Global’s LTN Target integrates with all parts of the advertising ecosystem to enable linear addressable advertising on different networks, platforms and workflows.

do that in a privacy centric way, including LG Ads. We’ve developed speech technology that can be trained to recognize all the individuals in the household. It can be used by TV OEMs to control the TV, provide highly personalized viewing experiences for content and ads and ways to interact with both, keeping viewers engaged.” Keeping viewers engaged is a big part of user-centric dynamic ad insertion, a feature touted for its ability to provide an engaging viewing experience with the viewer while enhancing the monetization of the related ad inventory. A solution like PRISMA from MediaKind connects a content owner’s ad inventory to advertisers via an ad decision server or server-side platform integration (SSPI) system. Through an SSPI system, advertisements can be personalized on a per user or audience basis in a live or near-live scenario or non-live situation. In live programming, dynamic ad replacement of an entire ad break is possible, as well as on a spot-by-spot basis. The same can be accomplished in a non-live VOD, personal video recording or catch-up TV service. Telestream is another company using dynamic ad insertion to monitor quality and avoid lost revenue. The company’s iQ video monitoring solution watches for quality issues in each step of the delivery chain including identifying missing SCTE-35 ad placement markers and tracking ad behavior. Other features include visual validation of successful ads, alerts for ad-related issues and the ability to track fluctuations and errors. Ad Insertion Platform, a 15 year-old Swiss-based developer of products geared towards monetization in the streaming and

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broadcasting industry, offers DAI Connect, an SSAI platform that can be used to create user targeted ad pods or ad breaks. A feature called “Manifest Manipulator” inserts a created ad pod in at the manifest level for each end user so that content can be transcoded on the same profile to preserve required video quality. The AIP Optimizer enables unified headers so that open inventory can be sold programmatically at the best price.

THE POWER OF PROGRAMMATIC One company that has invested in an advanced advertising solution from AIP is Spanish technology company TVUP Media Telecom, who is using the technology to help monetize its advertising inventory. Using AIP, TVUP is able to programmatically sell video ad inventory and enable server-side ad insertion. The combination of AIP’s advanced ad serving capabilities and the ability to insert dynamic ads into video content is helping the company optimize the value of its inventory. “Thanks to AIP’s programmatic ad sales services, we can increase our ad revenue and maximize fill rates,” said Eudald Domènech, CEO of TVUP, adding that the technology also allows for seamless stitching of video ads within the company’s complex digital infrastructure. The company also recently inked a partnership with the software-as-a-service platform company Veset to manage SSAI for live and on-demand content on Veset’s playout platform. “We’re making it easy for broadcasters and content owners to create a seamless, sophisticated workflow for originating and monetizing their linear and streaming channels,” said Igor Krol, CEO of Veset.

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Other companies have taken their solutions to the cloud. The cloud-native platform Imagine Aviator enables content creators to plan, make and monetize premium-quality linear and OTT content from one unified platform. The goal is specific, according to Brad Herman, senior vice president of product at Imagine Communications. “The primary goal for media companies today is to increase eCPMs and operational efficiency of monetizing CTV inventory — to maximize revenue while lowering operational costs,” he said. Imagine calls the system a converged solution that delivers linear programming and VOD content with ads, with associated triggers for local and dynamic ad insertion. And that linear-like control of connected TV monetization is key in delivering a broadcast-quality viewing experience, Herman said. “This results in more advertisers being comfortable running campaigns, which ultimately increases eCPMs of CTV inventory. A better viewing experience can also lead to increased viewing times, which then generates more ad opportunities. And delivering a broadcast-quality ad experience enables media companies to satisfy linear under-delivery on CTV.” The company announced at the NAB Show that it plans to expand the platform’s capabilities to allow media companies to sell their own ad inventory rather than connecting to a demand-side platform to fill available inventory. Inventory can be sold by audience, context or by spot with additional functionality that can adjust for hard-to-plan scenarios like breaking news and live sporting events. “As consumers find more ways to watch, the efficiencies of [the] cloud play an important role, making it easier for media companies to address broadening advertising opportunities and create highly impactful and dynamic channels with genuine appeal to viewers,” said Rob Malcolm, chief product officer at Imagine Communications when the solution was released just prior to the 2022 NAB Show. And there is more to come, whether that’s improving reach to micro-audiences or new opportunities as stations convert to NextGen TV. Or even virtual and augmented reality, Gee said. “VR/AR has the potential to be a real game changer for both advertisers and content producers,” he said. “It can be ‘always on,’ it’s a deeply engaging way to experience content and ads, and it’s truly one-to-one, the ultimate in being able to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.” When it comes to advanced advertising, that’s exactly what we’re looking for. l


inside audio

Tech Advances Result in Next Generation Audio How will immersive sound fare with the rise in stereo and 5.1 surround soundbars?

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controls, but nothing as interactive as alternative dialog began experimenting, testing and writing about immersive channels that have been suggested with NGA. audio in early 2012 and remember hearing the term “Next Dolby ushered in personalization with the introduction Generation Audio” (NGA) sometime thereafter. Since then, of Dialog Normalization, which was obviously a good idea a variety of groups have advocated for a variety of features for different listening environments and content, but and formats for the next-generation content producers and Fraunhofer’s MPEG-H offers the possibilities of true user equipment manufacturers to build on. Currently NGA deinteractivity. For example, with over-the-air broadcasting scribes such features as immersion, interaction and intelligent the coaches and player language can be problematic, but interface between playback devices and reproduction devices, an isolated and controllable coaches’ channel eliminates but in the United States there was no government mandate to the prescreening and sanitizing that take place in a live keep forward momentum with the implementation of those broadcast. Significantly for the CFO’s, a coaches’ channel features. To add to the confusion, not only was there no manEXPERTISE could be monetized. Note, Dolby claims the same level of date, but there were also competing and incompatible formats Dennis Baxter interactivity through using object channels. with Dolby Atmos and MPEG-H. All this interactivity can be ultimately limited by the Neither Dolby nor Fraunhofer invented immersive sound producers and rights holders with options for improved dialog, alor NGA, which is actually a direct result of technology advances and ternate narration and even select objects such as radios and wireless clever compression schemes that achieved greater capacity and qualimicrophones. The ability to control any one of multiple players’ or ty for producing advanced audio. Immersive sound is possible because broadcasters can get the minimum of 10 discrete channels of sound—5.1.4 to the consumer within a narrowly defined data bandwidth. The audio bandwidth can be allocation for audio beds, channels or objects to enhance the immersive experience or for interactive features.

IS IT WORTH IT? Immersive sound may not be the ultimate entertainment experience for every consumer—research shows a steady rise in stereo and 5.1 surround soundbars but with only a very modest increase in 7.1 and the “other category,” which would include some variation of immersive sound. This leads me to believe that perhaps immersive sound production, particularly for sports, is just not compelling enough to spend extra money on higher-quality speakers. Immersive sound has been the most fostered focus of NGA, perhaps because it was the most developed feature with the ATSC 3.0 rollout. But the illusion of cinematic sound seems delusional with the proliferation of “faux immersive” DSP processing and soundbars that make all kinds of claims of immersive sound reproduction. I ask again: How can you get an immersive experience from an up and side firing soundbar? Maybe the consumer is savvier than first thought. The broadcast world has understood the craving of user-controlled sound since consumers have been able to shape their home sound with the inclusion of the bass and treble controls. Dolby was quick to introduce dialog


inside audio

coaches’ microphones and listen in mono or stereo—that seems like a pretty immersive experience to me.

Credit: Getty Images

RENDERING THE CONTENT The final and probably most under-valued benefit of NGA is the ability to render the audio content to virtually any consumer device or format. For example, consider that the audio elements are embedded in the digital stream and can be combined—rendered to a proper recipe for a mono, stereo, surround or immersive sound mix. The early shortcomings of surround sound were the downmix and metadata. Also remember that using the set-top box for combining surround channels to derive a stereo mix has always been problematic for accurate and equivalent sound productions because many of the sound elements are baked into the mix. Rendering takes all the ingredients and makes a whole new cake. Rendering is the final process before reaching the consumer and in theory, rendering can take different transducer characteristics, configurations and containers and optimize a soundscape for any listening device. However, I am still mystified as to how you can get an accurate

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The broadcast world has understood the craving of user-controlled sound since consumers have been able to shape their home sound with the inclusion of the bass and treble controls.

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representation of an immersive landscape from side and up-firing soundbars—although it really does sound better. A lot has been said about the potential of Next Generation Audio. While the technology is evolving, content with compelling immersive sound and interactivity is lagging, except in gaming. Just as surround sound started conservatively, immersive sound production has started conservatively as well. One significant difference is that early soundbars were a big improvement for surround sound, but I am not convinced that the immersive sound experience has benefitted as much from soundbars as surround sound did. The immersive experience is different for us all, and Next Generation Audio provides a framework, but no roadmap. I have recently published a book with Focal Press titled “Immersive Sound Production—A Practical Guide” that presents an advanced approach to live immersive sound design with a concentration on live sports and includes more than 60 different sports case studies. l Dennis Baxter has contributed to hundreds of live events including sound design for nine Olympic Games. He has earned multiple Emmy Awards and is the author of “A Practical Guide to Television Sound Engineering” and “Immersive Sound Production—A Practical Guide” on Focal Press. He can be reached at dbaxter@dennisbaxtersound. com or at www.dennisbaxtersound.com.


rf technology

More on RF at the NAB Show A look at how 5G works within the broadcast environment and drone tower inspections PART 2

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n my last column I focused on ATSC 3.0 measurement gear at the 2022 NAB Show. This month I’ll review some of the other items I found interesting at the show and look at the Broadcast Engineering Conference’s discussion on using drones for tower inspections.

TRANSMITTING—5G FOR BROADCAST? I wasn’t expecting any breakthrough technology in high-power UHF transmitters in Las Vegas but I did find time to visit three manufacturer’s exhibits and saw some interesting products. Rohde and Schwarz (R&S), which has been promoting the use of 5G for broadcast in the United States, featured its 5G transmitters for broadcasting. I wanted more details as I really didn’t understand how U.S. broadcasters would use 5G transmitters. Since the ATSC 3.0 standard allows signaling different types of waveforms in the bootstrap signal, I thought R&S might be looking at using 3GPP 5G standards in the UHF TV band. It turned out R&S envisioned using these on existing UHF 5G wireless bands licensed to wireless operators in the U.S. One idea was that broadcasters— with their high-power, high tower sites—could provide low-cost, wide-area coverage. A more likely scenario is wireless carriers will roll out their own 5G broadcast system and compete with broadcasters for content delivery. It will be interesting to see how this develops. For an example of how 5G and ATSC 3.0 could co-exist, Google the HP Enterprise business white paper “The Convergence of 5G and ATSC 3.0 Opens a New Era of Communications.” Hitachi-Comark had a new compact, all-in-one transmit-

EXPERTISE Doug Lung

ter built on their successful Parallax series. The transmitter uses liquid cooling with dual pumps for both the amplifiers and in-cabinet mask filter. Maximum power output for the EC700HP-BB3 is 13.2 kW. Installation is simple as it only requires hooking up power and running hoses to the outdoor heat exchangers. If that’s too much work, an air-cooled E-Compact transmitter line does not require an outdoor heat exchanger, but obviously sufficient air flow (and perhaps cooling) is required. The simple installation of these transmitters could make them ideal for disaster recovery or backup, although the mask filter would have to be tuned to the desired channel if shared between stations. Anywave also had more powerful UHF amplifiers, with a 4.5 rack unit “Marble” series transmitter providing outputting 2,200 watts. It uses the latest Ampleon BLF989E ninth-generation LDMOS chip, rated at a peak power of 1 kW and average power of 180 watts per device. Proper cooling will be essential for these compact devices. What I found most interesting was Anywave’s chart showing a new gap filler design using a reference antenna. This is used to characterize the booster’s transmitter reflections from the surrounding environment. Anywave claimed rejection of the transmitted signal into the gap filler of up to 50 Hitachi’s new improved dB, allowing higher power. E-Compact EC700HPBB3 series uses liquid Google “Anywave Gap cooling with dual Filler Indoor Flint Series” pumps for both the for more data. I expect amplifiers and low-power gap fillers to in-cabinet mask filter.

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rf technology become more common as ATSC 3.0 is deployed.

INNOVATION FROM SOUTH KOREA’S ETRI The Korean booth at the NAB Show usually has some interesting ATSC 3.0 technology and this year was no exception. ETRI described a system using MIMO and a 1024QAM constellation to transmit over 100 Mbps in a single ATSC 3.0 RF channel. The design requires separate transmit antennas (one for horizontal and one for vertical polarization) and a receive antenna with separate outputs for horizontal and vertical polarizations. This is obviously incompatible with existing receive antenna installations, so I asked if LDM could be used to provide a robust non-MIMO layer at reduced bandwidth for viewers without the outdoor dual-polarized antennas. I was told it was possible, but greatly increases complexity. A more likely scenario would be a station provides only high-data rate service, requiring a special receive and likely professional antenna installation. A pay-only service might be possible if FCC subscription TV rules used by analog for-pay OTA companies like On-TV apply to digital broadcasts as well. Google “ETRI ATSC 3.0 MIMO” for a number of articles on the technology, many in Korean (use Google translate).

INSPECTING WITH DRONES In a Broadcast Engineering Conference presentation at the NAB Show, Paul Shulins with Shulins Solutions showed how he uses drones to examine the thermal characteristics of antennas and transmission lines. TDR (time-domain reflectometry) measurements with a vector network analyzer can reveal major issues with transmission line connections but are less useful pinpointing problem areas inside antennas or heat-related problems that don’t change the line impedance. Shulins uses a drone outfitted with a special IR camera able to detect minor temperature differences in the line. This is more complicated than it may sound at first because the outer on copper transmission line, particularly new line, tends to reflect IR and hide internal heating. Measurements are best made before the sun has

At the NAB Show, ETRI demonstrated a system using MIMO and a 1024QAM constellation to transmit over 100 Mbps in a single ATSC 3.0 RF channel.

had a chance to heat the line. This IR imaging as proven its worth in several cases, which Shulins outlined. All it takes is one bad transmission line connection to eventually take a station off air and potentially cause expensive damage to many sections of transmission line. In Fig. 1, a thermal image shows the hot spot in a line due to a bad “O” ring that resulted in damage to 150 feet of transmission line. In Fig. 2, the arrow on the visual image provides a higher resolution view of the line. Due to the time of day when the visual image was taken there wasn’t much light. I stretched the contrast on the images to make the less illuminated and heated parts of the line and the tower more visible. The fault was not visible in a ground-based TDR sweep of the line. I’m now recommending IR inspections on new line installations to avoid future problems. For more information, Google “Shulins Solutions drone tower inspections.” Jason Schreiber, CEO of RF measurement provider SixArms, presented a paper on using drones to measure antenna patterns. I’ve covered drone antenna measurements in previous columns, so I won’t repeat the details. He noted measurements found several antenna patterns that didn’t match the expected pattern. In about 80% of the cases, they were due to installation errors, a common problem being the antenna rotated by one bolt hole. Manufacturers’ defects were less common. Of course, tower reflections result in measured patterns from side-mounted antennas being quite different than the free-space patterns. While ground measurements were enough to find that error, drone measurements would be required to discover more subtle discrepancies. SixAarms also had some new measurement equipment at the NAB Show (for more information, visit www.sixarms.com). l

All it takes is one bad transmission line connection to eventually take a station off air and potentially cause expensive damage to many sections of transmission line.

Fig. 1: Thermal image

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Fig. 2: Visual image twitter.com/tvtechnology

As always, I welcome comments and questions. Email me at dlung@ transmitter.com. I try to answer all emails promptly, but if I’m busy and the email gets buried, I might miss it. If you don’t get a response within a week or so, email me again.


media tech

Headline Headline Dek

Low Latency Distribution: What Does It Mean to Video Streamers? Depending on the value of the video content, latency takes on varying degrees of importance

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ne of the early problems versus stability of the content with live video streamstream. (Though things have ing—first demonstrated dramatically improved from the at the 1997 NAB Show— days when virtually every online was that the images hiccupped video was shaky and dropped out and sputtered due to constraints frequently.) in bandwidth. Yet, even with those Today, depending on the value annoying imperfections, it was of the video content, latency clear from day one that video had takes on varying degrees of a future over the internet. importance. With the standard Now—25 years later—getting streamed church service or town EXPERTISE rid of those video interruptions council meeting, which ranks as Frank Beacham the lowest-valued content, segover the net is close to reality. It hasn’t been an easy engineering problem to ment size can be reduced from 2-4 seconds solve. In live video streaming, it is important to remember that the lower the latency, the less robust the video signal becomes. Low latency video can hiccup, or stop playing completely, after even the tiniest gap in the bandwidth of the stream.

BALANCING ACT Since day one, live video streaming has been a balancing act—low latency

In live video streaming, it is important to remember that the lower the latency, the less robust the video signal becomes.

with little cost or concern. In this class of video, latency can be reduced to between 6–12 seconds. More valuable, but pre-recorded, broadcast content averages about 5-6 seconds of latency, while demanding real-time content like OTT streaming of live online sports, gambling or gaming demand special low-latency technology. New technologies with complex names are dealing with the latency issue and programming vendors are expected to charge a premium for the service. Until recently, ultra-low latencies of less than a second were best achieved using UDP-based WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), a free and open source protocol introduced by Google in 2011. It provides web browsers and mobile applications with real time communication via program interfaces. Until about 2020, the HTTP approach—a competing method—could not provide a low enough latency for interactivity, so WebRTC remained a popular solution.

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media tech

Fig. 1: CMAF represents a coordinated industry-wide effort to lower latency with chunked encoding and transfer encoding.

APPLE VS. MICROSOFT (AGAIN) However, the cost and complexity of encoding and storing the same video file twice for the two main computer platforms—Apple and Microsoft—made processing and storage of content expensive. Two versions of the same video stream had to be made either in advance or instantly. With users accessing streams across iPhones, smart TVs, Xboxes and PCs, this expensive complexity became a major issue. In 2016, Apple and Microsoft suggested that the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG) create a new uniform standard called “Common Media Application Format” to simplify online delivery of HTTP-based streaming media (Fig. 1). It was published in 2018. Once the standard was created, manufacturers implemented it quickly. The benefits of encoding, packaging and caching a single container for video delivery was obvious. But CMAF did more than just reduce encoding complexity. HTTP-based video delivery still lacked the real-time delivery options that viewers wanted. CMAF had to also improve latency. Now, Microsoft and Apple have agreed to reach audiences across the HLS and DASH protocols by using CMAF, a standardized transport container (Fig. 2). CMAF represents a coordinated industry-wide effort to lower latency with chunked encoding and transfer encoding. It also supports file encryption and digital rights management. Multiple incompatible DRMs are supported, including FairPlay, PlayReady and Widevine. Since its creation, CMAF has opened the way for a new generation of low latency technolo-

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gy. These consist of Low Latency HLS (LLHLS), Low Latency DASH (LL-DASH) and the High Efficiency Stream Protocol (HESP). CMAF works hand-in-hand with these protocols. LL-HLS, which was announced by Apple in 2020, became the most used technology for streams via HLS. There is a DVB standard for low-latency DASH and there is ongoing work to ensure interoperability for all DASH/CMAF low-latency applications. Harmonic and Akamai showed low-latency CMAF demos with a latency of under 5 seconds at the 2017 NAB and IBC shows. Since then, most other encoder and player vendors have integrated the technologies into their products.

MARKET COMPETITION All low-latency systems work in the same basic way. Rather than waiting until a complete segment is encoded—which usually takes between six and ten seconds—the encoder creates much shorter “chunks” that are

transferred to the content delivery network as soon as they are complete. In a new forecast from Rethink TV, a research organization, it is predicted that low latency protocols will quickly find a place in live sports delivery. As time goes on, all content—not just sports—will make use of the protocols, the researcher predicted. Rethink TV anticipates low-latency delivery will be a very competitive market in the next few years. These low-latency distribution technologies, which can be offered as a premium service to subscribers, are key for a number of competitive video technology vendors and users. Pivotal will be knowing how to optimize both the centralized and edge infrastructure to compete with rivals, the research found. As most devices are now totally compatible with CMAF, Rethink TV predicts most will be able to receive video streams packaged in LL-HLS and LL-DASH formats. Competitive forces will drive adoption. For owners of content, rights holders and streaming services, the reduction of latency for live video can differentiate them from their rivals by dramatically improving the reliability of video service. This also applies to broadcasters that operate both traditional pay-TV distribution infrastructure and an OTT service. Those broadcasters need to get their latencies down to something nearer their traditional pay-TV competitors. Reducing OTT latency is essential, but now for only live content. It will probably remain in the sports and betting arena for the time being. However, all on-demand video programming will eventually migrate to a low-latency technology, probably before the end of this decade. l Frank Beacham is a New York City-based writer and media producer.

Fig. 2: Microsoft illustration of CMAF being split to process different video protocols

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cloudspotter’s journal

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Practicality Each differ in the kinds of cloud infrastructure they include

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nder the cloud umbrelcomputing. Today, a hybrid cloud la are the familiar variis categorized as a solution or enations—public, private vironment in which applications and hybrid clouds. The are running in a combination of latter, hybrid, is an environment differing environments. Reasons featuring a combination of both include capabilities that cannot public cloud (e.g., AWS, Azure, be supported exclusively in any Google, others) and private cloud. public cloud—for example, the By “private cloud,” we mean production of an entertainment a “physical location” such as an program that demands services on-prem data center, a “co-lo” at a venue that can’t be done in a EXPERTISE type center, or a managed service virtual cloud platform (live sports Karl Paulsen dealing directly with users on a clearly needs cameras, sound and contractual basis. Many variahuman interaction). tions in private clouds exist. Facebook, for Hybrid models are here for the near term, example, created its own private cloud for its yielding new opportunities to assemble other infrastructure and does not utilize a public elements of the production using tools that cloud to store its data. When scale, security heretofore were relegated mostly to large or functional need dictate something outside frame, custom hardware. Such development the boundaries of a public, commercial cloud, is going full speed, but it’s not clear when users may turn to this privately controlled this will become mainstream. Thus, there are model. With those basics defined, an emerging user trend is now developing. Certain specialties now command specifics that demand sets of capabilities that span more than a single service whether public or private cloud. While such a model might be classified as a hybrid cloud environment, there are places and applications where that traditional hybrid cloud implementation expands outside those classic dimensions.

cloud service providers who are focusing on supporting such migrations using specialized capabilities (their own “secret sauce”) that set them apart from their competition.

MORE THAN ONE CLOUD Enter a relatively newer approach to methodologies that promote multiple methods to reach the users’ goals. This relatively recent trend is referred to as “multi-cloud,” (Fig. 1) Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud models refer to cloud deployments that integrate more than one cloud. Each differ in the kinds of cloud infrastructure they include (Fig. 2). For example, a hybrid cloud infrastructure blends two or more different types of clouds, while multicloud blends different clouds of similar type. Multi-cloud, according to IBM, is “the use of cloud services from two or more vendors,” inferring two or more different public cloud vendors, yet that doesn’t necessarily mean

HYBRID PREVAILS To place this into perspective—almost no one, today, relies exclusively on the public cloud for

Fig. 1: Schematic depictions of public cloud model types and their workflow practices twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | July 2022

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cloudspotter’s journal compute analytics that might best be served in another. Benefits gained in this strategy may be realized in different ways by various organizations. Live event or studio production might best be served by vendor A while post production (transcoding, formatting, versioning) might be better served by vendor B. Allowing the user to choose cloud services from varying providers based on performance, function, costs, etc., is now a marketplace-driven agenda compared to past models where you went to a single provider for all those services wrapped into a package—and where you might find certain service capability limitations.

RISK, VULNERABILITY, LOSS Fig. 2: Key differences between hybrid and multi-cloud showing pros and cons for each variation

only “public cloud” providers. The multicloud approach gives organizations increased flexibility to optimize performance, control costs, and in turn, leverage the “best of breed” cloud technologies available.

subscription-based service with on-demand billing. To the end user/subscriber, they are likely unaware of which services are provided on which cloud model, i.e., private or public.

COMPUTE OFFERINGS SERVICES TODAY To set the framework, we need to examine where the technologies lie today. The three better-recognized “cloud services” include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Each of these three services utilize some degree of “cloud computing,” usually contained within that cloud under specialties and services that the specific provider has optimized for their particular cloud infrastructure. Each of the three services’ platforms employ what we refer to as “cloud computing.” By fundamental definition, cloud computing are those technologies that “make the cloud work.” More expanded descriptions include “a remote data center, which contains the (computing) resources that support those applications” and include physical (and virtual) servers, development tools and networking. Each of these services are provided in a cloud-like environment, i.e., “native cloud.” Some definitions will include “via the internet” and others will describe cloud computing using a “network of remote servers” that are “hosted on the internet” for functionality, which includes “the management, processing and storing of data.” These remote data centers may be managed by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP) who then charges as a

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Leading cloud providers, as well as cloud-solution providers (e.g., VMware), may participate in multi-cloud solutions for compute. Wrapped in the cloud compute structure is “infrastructure, development, data warehousing, cloud storage, disaster recovery/ business continuity” and more. Cross cloud utilization is where this multicloud “best of breed” concept plays best. For example, artificial intelligence and machine learning may best be practiced in a cloud service environment specially tailored for these operations, given that the scale of servers and storage necessary for a large AI/ML deployment can be intensive. In this example model, deploying a multi-cloud model might involve data acquisition from one cloud provider and

The multi-cloud approach gives organizations increased flexibility to optimize performance, control costs, and in turn, leverage the “best of breed” cloud technologies available.

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Other important rationale for the multicloud model include risk reduction, reduced vulnerability to losses in data, compromise, unplanned downtime or outages, and more. Additional operation strategies that can leverage multi-cloud include licensing, security, service-compatibility and alleviation of signing up with a single provider who can’t offer all the services under one umbrella. Unfortunately, as all these cloud models grow, user/administrators have been facing what is referred to as “shadow-IT,” i.e., “you can’t protect what you can’t see.” The explosion of unsanctioned applications, software and devices is weighing heavily on the CIOs who must develop policies based upon the knowns. By limiting the services to a single solution, you could risk pushing the limits, which you can’t see, touch or know about until you arrive there and find “you just can’t do that here.” Multi-cloud uses are still evolving. Full feature sets will require additional support and conduits to or from the variations. Inside the media and entertainment technology domains, efforts to establish best current practices for elements like multi-cloud— which requires ground-to-cloud and cloudto-ground (GCCG) parameters—are moving forward. Harmonization of how well one cloud provider’s services (e.g., software-defined networking for compressed signal production) versus another’s capabilities (e.g., in compilation and distribution) will allow users to experience opportunities in cloud-to-cloud services that can more easily react to the needs of the entire ecosystem. l

Karl Paulsen is chief technology officer at Diversified and a frequent contributor to TVTech in storage, IP, and cloud technologies. Contact him at kpaulsen@diversifiedus.com.


eye on tech | product and services ARRI Alexa 35 The Alexa 35 is a 4K Super 35 camera that offers native 4K and 120 fps and features ARRI’s first new sensor in 12 years. The new sensor offers a number of technical advances that deliver 2.5 stops more dynamic range, better low light performance and richer colors. Alexa 35 measures 17 stops of dynamic range (exposure latitude), far more than any other digital cinema camera. It has 1.5 stops more in the highlights and one stop more in the shadows than previous Alexa cameras, while retaining the naturalistic film-like highlight roll-off. Sophisticated stray-light suppression in the camera and lens mounts ensures that the full contrast range and character of each lens are captured by the sensor. Together, the increased dynamic range and stray light control make it easier to handle any lighting conditions on set, increase flexibility in post, and provide the best source for HDR projects. z For additional information, visit

https://www.arri.com/en/camera-systems/cameras/alexa-35.

Tascam/Atomos Bluetooth Synchronization for Portacapture X8

Marketron REV Campaign Analysis Marketron’s REV Campaign Analysis for the Marketron REV sales growth platform for TV and radio sales professionals offers broadcasters a way to show agencies and local direct advertisers the delivery of linear campaigns. The post-campaign analysis occurs on the same platform used to propose and order campaigns. The feature is available for free to all REV platform subscribers and is ready for use across North America. Broadcasters can analyze promise vs. performance of linear campaigns and sales teams can check a campaign’s current impressions compared to contracted impressions to see how the campaign is tracking in near-real time. REV is integrated with ratings providers Nielsen and Numeris. z For additional information, visit www.marketron.com/marketronrev.

G&D PersonalWorkplaceController

Tascam and Atomos now offer wireless Bluetooth synchronization for the Tascam Portacapture X8. With the addition of the optional Tascam AK-BT1 Bluetooth dongle for the Portacapture X8 and either the new Atomos CONNECT devices, AtomX SYNC or Ultrasync Blue timecode sync adapters, videographers and audio pros can now wirelessly synchronize the Portacapture X8’s 8-track recording capability using 192 kHz/32-bit float point recording technology with an array of video cameras, including DSLR and mirrorless models.

G&D’s new PersonalWorkplace-Controller unites the best of multiviewing and KVM by allowing users to display, arrange and operate multiple sources on one monitor. The new controller allows each user to design their own workstation and operate it with just one mouse and one keyboard. This is useful in critical environments, where it is important to keep an overview of all processes. Instead of having to use a separate monitor for each process, the PersonalWorkplace-Controller allows multiple video signals to be displayed on just one large monitor or multiple displays. This gives users the option of individually configuring their workspace with different computer sources.

z For additional information, visit https://tascam.com/us.

z For additional information visit www.gdsys.com.

SmallHD Action 5 Monitor

Litepanels Gemini 2x1 Hard RGBWW LED Panel

The Action 5 Monitor is a lightweight, 5-inch LCD touchscreen video monitor with exceptional brightness and ActionOS, a streamlined, version of SmallHD’s PageOS 4 software toolset. The monitor is capable of 2,000 nits brightness, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, 1080p resolution, 440 PPI, Rec. 709 color and advanced software tools that have been simplified for one-touch functionality. It weighs in at 10 ounces, attaches via HDMI to almost any camera setup and comes with a combination battery plate supporting Sony L-Series or Canon LP-E6 batteries right out of the box. The HDMI I/O is adjacent to the power input on the left side of the monitor while the bottom, back and right sides all provide 1/4 inch–20 mounting points. z For additional information visit https://smallhd.com.

Litepanels has expanded its Gemini RGBWW LED panel range with the addition of the Gemini 2x1 Hard RGBWW LED Panel. The new panel delivers up to 23,000 lux @10 feet/3 meters of output from a lightweight, compact fixture and the double-size Gemini 2x1 Hard produces highly accurate full spectrum white light as well as RGB output and a range of creative cinematic effects. It weighs just 25.3 pounds (11.5 kg), including yoke and integrated power supply, and has a maximum power draw of just 500W. Twice the size of its smaller sibling, Gemini 2x1 Hard produces an output that is seven times brighter than the Gemini 1x1 Hard, creating a large volume of punchy light that can be easily softened with a range of diffusers. z For additional information visit www.litepanels.com. twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | July 2022

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eye on tech | product and services ARRI Orbiter Fresnel Lens

AVIWEST StreamHub V. 4.0 AVIWEST’s StreamHub V. 4.0 offers a new intuitive user interface for the receiver and IP distribution platform and is an integral workflow component of AVIWEST solutions, which include its flagship PRO460, the compact RACK400 and LiveGuest remote interview solution. StreamHub offers broadcasters a scalable, tailored video solution for receiving, managing and sharing live streams from multiple mobile transmitters via a single interface. Its HTML5 UI helps video pros manage, monitor and control video transmissions through a unified view of all video feeds, including video thumbnails and transmission metrics. It’s available as a standalone hardware appliance (1RU) and can be deployed on any public or private cloud.

ARRI has announced the addition of the Orbiter Fresnel lens to its selection of Orbiter optics. Combined with Orbiter’s ARRI Spectra light engine, the highend optical system is suitable for cinematic application, broadcast studios, as well as theaters or live productions. The Orbiter Fresnel lens is an addition to the already existing Orbiter Open Face optics of 15°, 30°, and 60°. The lens is designed to create a precise light spot with a soft single shadow and delivers true Fresnel output with a real Gaussian field of light. The light output of Orbiter with Fresnel lens is comparable to the ARRI L-Series L10 and True Blue ST2/3 with 2,000W Tungsten bulb. Fresnel lighting character works best with a large aperture and a wide zoom range. Despite its large aperture, the Orbiter Fresnel lens housing is compact (approx. 340 mm x 380 mm x 370 mm/13.4 inches x 15 inches x 14.6 inches) and lightweight (~4.5 kilograms/9.5 pounds).

z For additional information visit www.aviwest.com.

z For more information, visit www.arri.com/orbiter-fresnel.

Telestream Inspect 2110

WideOrbit WO Traffic v22

Telestream’s Inspect 2110 is its latest IP video monitoring solution for SMPTE ST 2110 media networks. Using a monitoring-by-exception approach, Inspect 2110 enables facilities to manage the reliability of the hybrid SDI-over-IP and ST 2110 networks across their facilities. The latest version offers a 180 Gbps bandwidth-capable solution and is now configurable based on bandwidth monitoring needs. It offers options that allow it to be tailored easily to specific applications in contribution monitoring, multiple-studio monitoring and live and production applications for monitoring multiple vehicles from a single location. New features include a high-performance platform, audio and video remote viewer, automatic detection of frozen and black frames and compliance measurements for loudness (CALM).

The latest release of WO Traffic, WideOrbit’s broadcast media ad sales and commercial operations platform, includes an automated addressable ad replacement solution for live streams. The WO Traffic solution enables a single playlist to be sent to both airtime (over the air) automation and streaming ad servers, with Spot and Material level data. Broadcast spots on the live stream can either achieve extended reach or be replaced with addressable ads. The digital playout system uses data from WO Traffic to make ad replacement decisions at the Spot and/or Material level. By monetizing ads replaced on the stream, stations can maximize the revenue potential of live streaming their broadcast content via OTT/CTV, while also ensuring they’re prepared for the addressable capabilities of NextGen TV.

z For additional information visit www.telestream.net.

z For additional information, visit www.wideorbit.com.

Seervision Suite and Canon PTZ Camera

Chyron PRIME 4.5

Camera automaton software specialist Seervision has partnered with Canon to offer integration of the Seervision Suite and Canon PTZ cameras, making the video production automation solution part of its PTZ camera lineup. Integration of the software suite with Canon robotic cameras automates live video productions and opens up use of cameras to a new users in live/hybrid events, education and corporate settings.

PRIME 4.5, the latest version of Chyron’s software-based live production platform is designed to simplify the shift to cloud-based workflows for live, uncompressed video, provide greater control over live data without requiring complex scripting, make common data-management and scene-building tasks more efficient and automate fluid virtual camera effects in scenes. Chyron has implemented the AWS Cloud Digital Interface in PRIME 4.5, giving users the ability to encode, transport and stream uncompressed 4K video and audio in the cloud with Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) and AWS Elemental MediaLive. Modules for the PRIME platform can be deployed on high-performance EC2 instances. Output streams can be routed to other PRIME systems or streaming distribution chains via an IP address connection with MediaLive.

z For additional information visit

www.seervision.com and www.canon-europe.com.

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z For additional information, visit https://chyron.com.


equipment guide | master control, routing & kvm switchers

DeSales Media Believes in Crispin’s Master Control Automation Solution USER REPORT By Bob Sharp Executive Director of Technology, Engineering, Systems and Operations. DeSales Media

flexibility in handling the playlists and making adjustments. It has also changed the way we do live events—allowing us to program a live event without manual intervention has given us a whole new lease on how we can program, and even what we can program. With Crispin’s master control automation, we don’t have to worry about server availabilities—we can see everything that we need to do and we’re able to record on multiple recorders if we need to. During the pandemic, when the church decided to do eight live masses every day in different languages, we were able to program that very simply: The ones that they wanted us to record, we were able to record and program it as a secondary record. If we needed to re-air that, we were able to schedule it for re-air and we were even able to QC it while we were on another live event. Those capabilities give us a lot more

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—DeSales Media is a direct provider of Catholic news, events and original content through print, TV, digital and experiential, to engage Catholics and drive them to put their faith into action. With more than 100 years since the launch of our first newspaper, “The Tablet,” and an evolution spanning parochial schooling, prayer channels, evangelization television, an additional newspaper and a 24/7 cable channel carrying live mass, devotional programming, educational programming, news, and entertainment, DeSales is devoted to covering the Catholic perspective through a multifaceted 360-degree approach. We’ve recently transformed ourselves Bob Sharp’s team at DeSales Media relied on Crispin’s into a content hub for the faith-based master control solution to community and its creators. With handle the delivery of its focused programming and live feeds faith-based content. from local sites including the Cathedral Basilica of St. James and the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, in Brooklyn, St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan and international locations including the Vatican, we sought a scalable master control solution to simplify playlist management and streamline efficiencies. We wanted something that had the proven ability to handle a variety of content distribution modes including playout to air for a regular channel and distribution of content to affiliates for their play to air.

power and flexibility. In addition, there are also some really nice features in the Crispin environment to handle getting back on time coming out of a live event. You can pre-build blocks and store them off to the side in the file cabinet and you can have some evergreen content there in case something goes wrong with the feed, which we’ve found to be an elegant and simple solution that gives us peace of mind.

SIMPLIFIED PLAYLISTS Something else we really appreciate about Crispin’s solution is that when we make changes on the playlist, being able to do a “ctrl R” and insert and replace everywhere a show is going to air on that whole playlist saves us a lot of time. You can also make one single replacement just for the master control instead of going through 800 lines of content trying to find and replace a single line. That alone has been a major blessing. It’s evident that Crispin’s master control automation was thoughtfully built and designed by people in the industry. It accounts for a lot of the workflows that people are used to in other aspects of their computer life, where find and replace, and search are far more developed than the competition. Additionally, training operators on Crispin is easy. The speed with which new operators who don’t have a master control background catch on to Crispin is impressive. As a not-forprofit religious broadcaster, this is ideal since many of our staff are either experts or fairly green—and both ends of the spectrum have managed to pick it up quickly. l

A SCALABLE SOLUTION That’s when we learned about Crispin’s master control automation and quickly implemented it for prep, storage, management and playout of live and pre-recorded content. Crispin runs control for a series of Harmonic Spectrum X playout devices, controlling the graphics. For us, Crispin has been transformative. When compared to our previous solution, Crispin gives us a lot more

Bob Sharp is DeSales’ executive director of technology, engineering, systems and operations and has more than 30 years of working in the design, construction, management and operations of broadcast and media facilities, with experience in news, sports, feature entertainment and post-production. He can be reached at rsharp@desalesmedia.org. For more information, visit https://crispincorp.com/. twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | July 2022

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equipment guide | master control, routing & kvm switchers buyers briefs IHSE Draco tera IP Gateway Lawo .edge Designed as the ideal, drop-in replacement for monolithic legacy SDI routers, .edge offers the convenience and reliability of native SDI/IP conversion for long-haul video, audio and control data transport, flexible scalability and router distribution. It is also the perfect solution for users who need to upgrade to UHD and quickly find themselves limited by existing router matrices. Supporting bandwidths of 25GbE and 100GbE, each 2RU frame can provide up to 192 SDI connectors, using four rear I/O plates. The hardware is software-licensable, allowing operators to unlock only the required number of HD-BNC connectors, for OPEX-style flexibility. Clean and quiet switching as well as local loop support are built in, while 3G UHD Gearboxing, UHD Link Rotate and other specialist features can be licensed when required.

The Draco tera IP Gateway allows IHSE KVM users to bridge multiple KVM matrixes over existing IP networks within buildings, across campuses, and between remote corporate offices. It combines the high levels of security and performance of the Draco tera KVM system with the flexibility and ease of connectivity inherent in IP-based communication. Therefore, it allows users to access remote computers and interact in real time with minimal latency and no visible artifacts, with the full confidence of a highly secure KVM system. In addition, Secure Core technology prevents direct access to the data within the KVM system from the IP network. z For more information visit www.ihse.com.

z For more information visit https://lawo.com.

Apantac UE-II Series The Apantac UE-II Series of 4x1 or 8x1 cascadable HDMI 2.0 (4K UHD) multiviewers—with built-in KVM functionality—accommodate and create a truly integrated monitoring and control system. Apantac multiviewers can accept up to HDMI 2.0 UHD/4K 60 Hz inputs with HDMI 2.0 UHD at 18 Gbps outputs. The KVM function allows multiple computers connected to the multiviewer to be controlled via a single mouse and keyboard—users simply move the mouse from window to window (on their display) to switch the control from one computer to another one. A single operator can visually monitor and control up to eight computers on a single console with a UHD or HD monitor. Via the single console, the user can easily switch between multiviewer layouts using predefined keyboard shortcuts. z For more information visit www.apantac.com.

Imagine Communications Magellan Control System

G&D VisionXS

The Magellan Control System is a fast, reliable routing control solution for the modern broadcast facility –performing all the functions of the routing system—across traditional SDI matrices and also modern ST2110 infrastructures. Magellan Control—which is being used by many global media companies to protect legacy investments and make a managed transition to IP—works seamlessly with all routing and end-point devices, supports AMWA NMOS IS-04/05 protocols, and manages thousands of multicast flows through monolithic or distributed COTS fabric architectures. With an easy-touse, context-aware interface, Magellan Control enables operators to create, save and recall their own routing, parametric and monitoring workflows.

VisionXS comes in a small package but delivers big performance. The new IP extender series utilizes standard Ethernet networks with up to 10 GB bandwidth and therefore requires much less compression at higher display resolutions. G&D’s proprietary lossless video compression bluedec transmits pixel-perfect resolutions up to 4K60 and improves the user experience many times over. As a special highlight, the integrated IP-MUX function lets a console device manage multiple target IP addresses from up to 20 computer sources without requiring additional hardware. The on-screen display can be used to switch between different sources.

z For more information visit https://imaginecommunications.com.

z For more information visit https://www.gdsys.com/en.

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equipment guide | master control, routing & kvm switchers

A New Era in Master Control at Iowa PBS USER REPORT By Bill Hayes Director of Engineering and Technology Iowa PBS

JOHNSTOWN, Iowa—Iowa PBS has been a national leader in TV for decades. We have centralized master control of four program streams, distributed statewide via 17 transmission facilities as well as outputs to streaming services. We produce nationally syndicated TV shows, use our studio facilities for widely viewed specials and have received many awards from our programs and live sports. When our Avid-Sundance system reached end-of-life, we carefully accessed all master control automation and found Aveco a stand-out leader. There are many important innovations in playout and we wanted to use them now! However, our transition period had to happen during COVID-19. We were amazed at how smooth the process went—a major master control replacement, adding many new features, while no one could come onsite! A well-designed transition plan and the workflow automation scripting in Aveco helped a lot.

trol and production use of shared resources. While Iowa is the center of political hurricanes every four years, we’re also in the center of “Tornado Alley”—our Intelliweather system is integrated with Aveco master control to bring instantaneous storm updates; every second matters. Iowa PBS has a great staff and training remotely due to COVID—on a new advanced automation platform—was expected to be a big challenge. There were many new features and workflow improvements to learn. The new Aveco software was easy to understand, the trainers had a great grasp of what’s needed, and our staff got up to speed surprisingly fast.

CLOUD LEADERSHIP There are many features our staff especially like in Aveco—the integrated MAM, multichannel timeline, BXF bidirectional integration between Aveco-ProTrack and Masstech, the efficiency of equipment pooling, the easy sharing of master control and studio production, ease of use, great reliability, the safe client-server architecture, and the flexibility of unattended and remote operation. We were and continue to be very pleased with Aveco’s responsiveness to our comments and concerns and their flexibility at working with us on refinements to the overall operation of

the system. Most broadcast technologists see current or near-term use of the cloud for a variety of functions—MAM, storage, playout, pop-up channels. It was impressive to see Aveco’s early leadership in this area, with on-prem, hybrid cloud and full cloud operation on air for a range of quality broadcasters. Aveco controls our Harmonic Spectrum platform onsite and the Harmonic VOS360 cloud system which we may use in the future. TV is in another fast rate of change—over the years, there have been many major waves. We’ve found some smaller companies are the best in innovating and adapting and we consider Aveco one of these and are honored to work with them and other quality manufacturers helping lead our industry. l Bill Hayes, director of engineering and technology for Iowa PBS, has been at the forefront of broadcast TV technology for 40 years, 23 of them at Iowa PBS. He’s served as president of IEEE’s Broadcast Technology Society, is a Partnership Board Member of the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) and has contributed extensively to SMPTE and ATSC. He can be reached at hayes@iowapbs.org and 515-725-9765. For more information, visit aveco.com.

THE TRANSITION PLAN Aveco has a direct database conversion from Avid-Sundance (and others) as well as BXF integration with Myers ProTrack traffic and API integration with Telestream-Masstech. All existing media and metadata migrated easily into Aveco. Via BXF, whenever a trimming or segmentation update is made in Aveco, the updated “confirmed timing” instantly updates both ProTrack and Masstech. Bi-directional MXF was one of our first steps. In the past, Iowa PBS used many video server ports for ingest but Aveco’s equipment pool management efficiently allows sharing of ingest ports for program feeds, studio feeds, archival ingest, etc. It implements priorities to ensure important scheduled feeds are never missed and provides equipment pool sharing of video server ports for video roll-ins during live production. Aveco also controls live graphics—bridging master con-

Bill Hayes, Director of Engineering and Technology, in the Iowa PBS Master Control Room

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | July 2022

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equipment guide | master control, routing & kvm switchers buyers briefs Matrox Extio 3 IP KVM extenders

FOR-A MFR-3100EX

Extio 3 IP KVM extenders deliver secure, high-performance 4Kp60 4:4:4 and quad 1080p60 4:4:4 video extension and switching support over a standard GigE network, enabling operators in post-production facilities, control rooms, and OB vans to benefit from seamless remote connectivity. Extio 3’s Aggregator Mode also allows remote users to operate multiple source computer systems from a single Extio receiver unit located at a remote multidisplay station and control them with a single keyboard and mouse. In addition, users leveraging the Tile View feature can access, monitor, and control up to four separate systems on one Full HD or 4K monitor for unrivaled productivity-enhancing remote experiences.

Introduced at the 2022 NAB Show, FOR-A’s new MFR-3100EX all-in-one production processor is one of the company’s software-defined IP solutions, providing switching, multiview, PTZ camera control, NDI support and streaming—all in one 4RU-sized unit. The MFR-3100EX configures a matrix of up to 64x72, with up to 4 inputs/4 outputs for 8K signals or 16 inputs/18 outputs for 4K UHD. Multiple units can be used together, enabling matrix expansion and redundancy. All input channels may be monitored via web browser, and optional functionality like frame synchronization, AVDL, and audio MUX/DEMUX can be added via an expansion card. z For more information visit www.for-a.com.

z For more information visit www.matrox.com/en.

Blackmagic Design Smart Videohub The new Smart Videohub is the world’s first Ultra HD mixed-format router with built in video monitoring and spin knob router control. Depending on the model, Smart Videohub includes the latest 6G-SDI or 12G‑SDI technology so users can simultaneously connect and route any combination of SD, HD and UHD video, all the way up to high frame rate 2160p60, all on the same router. The Smart Videohub also features revolutionary new visual routing that lets users see their router connections as video on the built-in LCD as you scroll the knob to select your routing. Designed for broadcast, post or live production, Smart Videohub’s super compact size means it’s perfect for use in large broadcast systems or portable mini racks for live production where cameras, switchers, recording and monitors are all connected to Smart Videohub. z For more information visit www.blackmagicdesign.com.

WorldCast SureStream for KVM WorldCast’s recently announced SureStream for KVM offers pixel-perfect transmission, latency free video and flawless audio, even over imperfect IP networks. With a combination of redundant streaming technology, packet-forwarding, and virtual trunking solutions, SureStream provides reliable Quality of Experience (QoE) for any content and any media over IP networks, at low cost, with high resilience, security, and simplified management and control. The SureStream KVM solution also improves the user experience by combining all available network links into one single link and with packet loss protection that guarantees virtually zero packet loss while utilizing 50% of actual trunk bandwidth capacity. z For more information visit: www.worldcast.group.

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AJA KUMO Routers AJA KUMO routers provide convenient dense routing solutions in lightweight, compact form factors for use in facilities, OB trucks, post suites and more. Available in multiple connector densities in 3G-SDI and 12G-SDI options, KUMO routers are easy to update, configure, and control with optional control panels for quick physical access to source and destination routing and convenient USB ports for IP configuration. All models also offer integrated web browser access across a network over the built-in Ethernet connection. KUMO 161612G and KUMO 3232-12G SDI routers enable 4K and UltraHD routing on a single BNC for rates up to 12G. z For more information visit www.aja.com.


equipment guide | master control, routing & kvm switchers buyers briefs Black Box Emerald KVM-Over-IP Platform The Black Box Emerald KVM-over-IP platform serves as an infinitely scalable universal access system, giving users the flexibility to connect to both physical and virtual machines from any location at any time, which allows for optimized studio infrastructure and workflows. Advanced security and market-leading low-bandwidth consumption allow maximum expandability, incorporating remote users, remote productions and distributed control rooms. Interoperability between 4K and HD video and one-touch setups of control rooms, combined with a high degree of automation through Emerald’s APIs, gives users valuable flexibility and ease of use in managing signals and format types to deliver content with an innovative look and feel, while Emerald preserves the existing IT equipment. z For more information visit www.blackbox.com/en-us.

Bitcentral Central Control

PlayBox Neo Multi Playout Manager A newly enhanced PlayBox Neo module, Multi Playout Manager (MPM) is a broadcast playout monitoring and control system which allows multiple AirBox Neo-20 channels to be operated via IP from any authorized location. The latest version includes an updated UI with integrated playout preview and is designed to match the UIs used across the entire PlayBox Neo series. Optimized performance combined with fully integrated playout preview makes remote control and monitoring easier than ever. A built-in editor enables users to create future playlists. MPM also provides support for custom metadata from AirBox Neo-20 and includes a library module for fast access to MAM. Media files can be drag-and-drop moved from library to playlist or processed into multiple folders with customized metadata settings such as “category” and “folder color.” A supervisor can also custom brand the MPM user interface with an organization’s or channel’s logo.

Central Control is a comprehensive and fully integrated master control and automated software toolset that provides modules to execute all the processes that converge into playout. Through Central Control, operators can efficiently deliver full linear channels, including traffic integration, inventory and media asset management, offline playlist scheduling, system monitoring and reporting, syndicated content processing, and automated feed recording. Central Control incorporates intelligent workflows that streamline playout processes ensuring you can reliably and efficiently operate more channels. z For more information visit https://bitcentral.com.

z For more information visit www.playboxneo.com.

products & services marketplace

twitter.com/tvtechnology | www.tvtech.com | July 2022

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people on the move For possible inclusion, send information to tvtech@futurenet.com with People News in the subject line.

DAVE GERMAN

MATTHEW LIPSON

SHAWN HODER

TJ BEARDSMORE

VP/GM, KXXV/KRHD TV Stations The E.W. Scripps Co.

EVP, Marketing for Digital Platforms and Content Allen Media Group

VP/News Director CBS News and Stations

Director of Program Management BeckTV

CBS News and Stations has named Shawn Hoder vice president and news director at CBS News and Stations’ local businesses in Pittsburgh, which include KDKA-TV (CBS), WPCW-TV (The CW Pittsburgh), the CBS News Pittsburgh streaming channel and CBSPittsburgh.com. Hoder will assume his new role on July 6, succeeding Kathy Hostetter, who became the VP/GM of CBS News and Stations’ local businesses in Baltimore.

BeckTV has hired TJ Beardsmore as director of program management. The company said, “With so many broadcast installations back-to-back and schedules shifting all the time, we needed someone with TJ’s skills to track and coordinate projects and ensure” operational efficiency. He has spent 26 years in the IT industry, focusing on technical operations, project management and systems integration for broadcast centers and sports facilities.

With more than 30 years of experience as a broadcast manager, Dave German has been appointed vice president and general manager by The E.W. Scripps Co. for KXXV/KHRD, the Scripps ABC affiliates in the Waco/Temple/Bryan, Texas, market. German has been VP/GM for KMTV, the Scripps CBS affiliate in Omaha, Neb., since October and prior to that, he was station manager of KPEJ in Odessa Texas, and GM of an eight-station cluster in Alaska.

Byron Allen’s AMG has hired Matthew Lipson EVP of marketing for digital platforms and content. He will oversee marketing strategies, creative development, social and paid media for AMG streaming platforms, including Sports.TV, theGrio, HBCU GO and Comedy. TV, as well as Freestyle Digital Media, the digital distribution division for movies. He previously held positions at 101 Studios, Open Road Films and NBCU.

DAVID BECK

CHRIS FEDELE

JOHN TREVIÑO

TONY LEADMAN

Chief Strategy, Corporate Development Officer Brightcove

GM, WPTA-TV & WISE-TV Gray Television

President & GM of KBMT-KJAC Tegna

Executive Dir. of International Distribution The Weather Group Television

Gray Television has named veteran broadcaster Chris Fedele general manager of WPTA-TV (ABC/NBC) and WISE-TV (CW) in Ft. Wayne, Ind. He spent the past four years as general manager of Gray’s WTVG-TV (ABC) in Toledo, Ohio. Prior to that he served 10 years as the director of sales and marketing for WLEX-TV (NBC) in Lexington, Ky., and 14 years at WPTA-TV in various sales manager positions before a five-year stint as the station’s general manager.

Tegna has named John Treviño president and GM at KBMT-KJAC, the flagship stations of the 12News Now network serving the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Texas. He will be responsible for overseeing the dual ABC and NBC affiliate operation serving the Beaumont area across all platforms, as well as leading the stations’ focus on community service and driving results for advertisers. Most recently, Treviño was VP and GM at KDAF, the CW affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth.

David Beck has been appointed chief strategy and corporate development officer for Brightcove. He will lead strategy, business development and corporate development, and focus on strategies to enhance current offerings and create opportunities to expand Brightcove’s existing businesses. Beck brings two decades of experience in strategy, operations and business development at digital brands, most recently at AMC.

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July 2022 | www.tvtech.com |

twitter.com/tvtechnology

Allen Media Group, parent company of The Weather Group TV, has named Tony Leadman executive director of international distribution. Leadman will develop and lead a business unit to distribute The Weather Channel’s original programming worldwide. Previously, Leadman was the architect of CTV and Bell Media’s international program distribution business, responsible for co-productions, commissions and licensing deals.



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